Mountain biodiversity


Mountains loom large in some of the world’s most spectacular landscapes.
Their unique topography, compressed climatic zones and isolation have created the conditions for a wide spectrum of life forms.

Half of the world’s biodiversity hotspots are concentrated in mountains and mountains support approximately one-quarter of terrestrial biological diversity. Mountains are home to rare species of plants and animals. These include increasingly rare animals such as gorillas, mountain lions, and the majestic tahr or strikingly beautiful plants such as orchids and lobelias.

A large portion of the world's most precious gene pools (for agriculture and medicine) are preserved in mountains. Crops that are important for food security, such as maize, potatoes, barley, sorghum, tomatoes, beans and apples, have been diversified in mountains and an array of domestic animals - sheep, goats, yaks, llamas and alpacas - have originated or been diversified in mountains. Other crops, such as wheat, rye, rice, oats and grapes, have found new homes in the mountains and evolved into many varieties. Coffee and tea, with their roots in Ethiopia and the Himalayan region, are mountain crops as well. Medicinal plants are one of the most valuable resources from high altitudes. This rich biodiversity holds cultural, ecological and economic value. In the Andes, for example, farmers know of as many as 200 different varieties of indigenous potatoes and, in Nepal, they farm approximately 2 000 varieties of rice.

Climate change, poverty, commercial mining, logging and poaching all exact a heavy toll on mountain biodiversity. The sustainable management of mountain biodiversity has increasingly been recognized as a global priority. The Convention on Biological Diversity adopted a Programme of Work on Mountain Biological Diversity in 2004, which includes a set of actions and targets addressing characteristics and problems that are specific to mountain ecosystems. 

 

6th International Symposium for Research in Protected Areas

6th International Symposium for Research in Protected Areas

event

National Parks Austria and Hohe Tauern National Park will host the 6th International Symposium for Research in Protected Areas at the Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Salzburg, Austria. Researchers and protected areas managers, as well as individuals from government, business, non-governmental organizations and the public who are interested in...

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Mountains and Sacred Landscapes

Mountains and Sacred Landscapes

event

The India China Institute (ICI) at The New School, the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture (ISSRNC), American University’s Center for Latin America and Latino Studies (CLALS) and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) announce an international conference on the theme of mountains...

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Mount Kilimanjaro Research Group Meeting

Mount Kilimanjaro Research Group Meeting

event

The interdisciplinary AfroMont-Mount Kilimanjaro Research Group meeting will bring together researchers working on African mountains. The conference theme will be "African mountain ecosystems under global change: Linking biodiversity, biotic interactions and biogeochemical ecosystem processes". The Mount Kilimanjaro research programme will host the meeting.

Sessions for the research meeting will...

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IMD celebrated in over 40 countries in 2016

IMD celebrated in over 40 countries in 2016

news

More than 200 events marked International Mountain Day (IMD) around the world on 11 December 2016, when mountaineers, mountain lovers, governments and civil society groups gathered to celebrate mountain environments and peoples. Celebrations took place in more than 40 countries, including Algeria, Argentina, Canada, Costa Rica, France, Indonesia, Iran, Italy,...

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United Nations General Assembly Resolution: Sustainable Mountain Development (2016)

United Nations General Assembly Resolution: Sustainable Mountain Development (2016)

publication

Resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on Sustainable mountain development at 71st Session. A/71/463/Add.10

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Call for abstracts: Mt Kilimanjaro conference

Call for abstracts: Mt Kilimanjaro conference

news

AfroMont, the African chapter of the international Mountain Research Initiative, invites researchers working on African mountains to submit abstracts for the upcoming Mount Kilimanjaro Mountain Research Conference. The conference theme is "African mountain ecosystems under global change: linking biodiversity, biotic interactions and biogeochemical ecosystem processes". Abstracts may be...

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